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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Getting down to Hogsback - Day 349 - 350

We journeyed down to Aliwal North for a stop-over before getting down to Hogsback.

Our accommodation in Aliwal North wasn't the best, you can’t win them all. Returning from the supermarket, we did chat to a lady with her Parrot, Blue. He was just 1 year old; these birds can live up to 80! I was working in the evening if you can call it "work", talking with other Professional Coaches and then Coaching. I do feel very blessed. It is so beautiful seeing a person have a powerful insight and then holding the space for them, so that they can deepen their understanding, letting it “digest” as my client said.

Day 350 we carried on our journey and seeing the environment change from arid scrubland to green hills and trees. We have arrived in Tolkein land! Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, where we were a few days ago but left as a young boy to England. His son, who was in the Royal Air Force and based in this region, would write to him, describing the environment. Allegedly, that is where a lot of the descriptions of the landscape for Lord of the Rings came from.

Unfortunately, we did miss a turning. I wasn’t concentrating on my role as co-pilot as I was busy writing a new Glows Coaching blog. Google didn’t instruct us to “take a U-turn”, so we carried on. Wrong decision. We, eventually, came to a run-down village, with derelict buildings which, in their former life, would have been quite grand. We turned left, and the road became a rough track. Mmm… not sure about this. We stopped and asked some teenagers whether we would be able to drive to Hogsback this way. “Yar, Yar” was the response, with a flick of the hand pointing that way. About 5 minutes into the trek, we saw a sign saying that the road was only suitable for 4x4. We turned back.

As we drove through the village, we stopped to ask an adult who informed us of a more suitable way. Even this way had a dusty unsealed road, and we had to avoid cattle and goats quite a few times. At one of the remote villages, a young lady was hitching a lift. We stopped, this time making sure we knew where she was going to. We could take her part of the way, at least it was to a main road where she would have more opportunity to get another lift. She was very shy and didn’t speak much English. Bless her, when we dropped her off, she tried to pay us. We refused.

As she left, we saw another lady hitching a lift; she wanted to go to Hogsback. She hopped in the car, a jolly lady, who had a wonderful cackle of a laugh. By this time, the terrain had changed, think of Mirkwood in the Hobbit. As we came around one of the bends, a large truck carrying wood came hurtling towards us. Our passenger whooped while I clung on, Tim remaining calm.

We finally arrived at our accommodation after dropping our lady off. This is more like it, apart from the temperature had dropped significantly. 10 degrees compared to 30 degrees yesterday. Puffer jackets and long trousers needed here. We chatted to our lovely hosts, Lyndsay and Peter, then after lunch, walked around their plot. Maples, Oak, Pine, ferns, flowering azaleas from deep reds, hot pinks to delicate lilac and many tiny wild strawberries. Lovely.

Later, we bumpily drove into the village (yes the roads here are still unsealed) and found a place to eat, luckily with a roaring fire to sit next too. Inside we met another English couple travelling for 3 months in South Africa. They were going the opposite way from us, having come from Cape Town and heading north, so it was great to share notes and places to visit.

Back at our home for three nights, Tim got a nice fire going then later I snuggled in bed with the electric blanket on and drifted off to the land of Rivendell…zzz.

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